EFL Cup - Final
Aston VillaAston Villa1Man CityManchester City2

Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City: Sergio Aguero & Rodri goals secure third Carabao Cup in a row

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Wembley
Manchester City
Manchester City added the League Cup to the Community Shied they won earlier in the season

Manchester City secured their third League Cup win in succession - and their fourth in five years - with victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.

Pep Guardiola's side won an historic treble of domestic trophies last season with the Premier League and FA Cup, and they thoroughly deserved their triumph despite a spirited effort from Aston Villa.

Manchester City looked like they would stroll to victory when Sergio Aguero's strike and Rodri's header from a corner that was hotly contested by Villa put them in complete control inside 30 minutes.

Villa, while strictly second best, offered themselves a lifeline when Mbwana Samatta headed in from Anwar El Ghazi's cross four minutes before the interval.

City continued to dominate as they sought a third goal and Villa were agonisingly close to forcing extra time when Bjorn Engels saw his header from a corner turned on to the woodwork superbly by keeper Claudio Bravo.

It was their last chance and City closed out the win their superiority merited.

Manchester City claim silverware again

John Stones' error led to the Villa goal but he defended well alongside Fernandinho

Manchester City may be about to lose their Premier League title to Liverpool, who are 22 points clear at the top of the table, but no-one can argue against their claims to the first piece of domestic silverware this season.

They were in control of most of this game apart from a frantic closing spell where the much-maligned 36-year-old Chilean keeper Bravo produced that stunning save from Engels to break Villa hearts.

If there is any frustration - and there will not be much - for Guardiola and his players, it is that they should have had this game done and dusted without any need for late moments of anxiety.

Aguero once again proved he is the man for all occasions with his predatory strike, while 19-year-old Phil Foden demonstrated his rich promise with a fine performance, which even contained a piece of audacious ball-juggling in the second half.

John Stones slipped unfortunately for Villa's goal but he also contributed some vital defensive headers when City finally had to survive some concerted pressure in the closing minutes.

Fernandinho continues to be a towering presence and it was a win achieved with Kevin de Bruyne on the bench for the first hour.

It has been an outstanding week for City as they followed up Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg win away to Real Madrid by lifting the EFL Cup.

Villa can take heart in defeat

Claudio Bravo
Claudio Bravo tipped Bjorn Engels' header on to the post moments from time

Aston Villa's players and staff gathered in a huddle after the final whistle for a rallying call for the battles ahead - which will be needed as they lie in the Premier League relegation zone.

They will feel they were served up an injustice with the corner that led to Rodri's goal but they can take some solace from the manner in which they stuck to their task, showed resilience and almost forced this EFL Cup final into extra time.

There was frustration for Villa's star man Jack Grealish, who could not exert any serious influence and, of course, there will be the pain of defeat.

It is a fact that Villa's main priority this season is Premier League survival and they demonstrated enough here to give them encouragement that they can achieve that mission, starting at Leicester City on 9 March.

Man of the match - Phil Foden (Man City)

Phil Foden
Phil Foden impressed on a rare start and set up Sergio Aguero's opening goal

'Being here and winning is great' - Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: "Three times in a row is a big success. It's the consistency, incredible.

"It was awesome. We struggled in the first minutes and the last ones. They had two clear chances in the first minutes but we played really well, especially in the second half.

"The game was good. Phil [Foden] was clinical. Big success, our second title of the season with the Community Shield, it's so nice.

"We've won a lot. I tried when we arrive, every game we play we try to win it, every competition we try to win it, and three times in a row, being here and winning is great."

Guardiola continues cup final form - the stats

  • Manchester City are the second side to win three consecutive League Cups after Liverpool between the 1980-81 and 1983-84 seasons (four in a row).
  • Only Liverpool (eight) have won the competition more times than City (seven).
  • Only Arsenal (six) have finished runners-up more often in League Cup history than Aston Villa (four - level with Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur).
  • Pep Guardiola has now won the League Cup on three occasions (2018, 2019, 2020) - only Alex Ferguson (four), Brian Clough (four) and Jose Mourinho (four) have won the competition more often among managers.
  • Guardiola has won 21 of his previous 25 finals as a top-flight manager, including all six with City (two Community Shields, three League Cups, one FA Cup).
  • Aston Villa have scored 20 League Cup goals this season, the last side to net 20+ in a single EFL Cup campaign were Manchester City in 2013-14 (22).
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his past six starts against Aston Villa.
  • Since his League Cup debut in November 2011, Aguero has scored more goals in the competition than any other player (11).
  • Aston Villa's Mbwana Samatta became the fifth different African player to score in a League Cup final, after Didier Drogba (four), Joseph-Desire Job, Obafemi Martins and Yaya Toure.
  • Manchester City's Phil Foden has been directly involved in nine goals in his 10 starts in all competitions this season (two goals, seven assists).

What next?

Manchester City visit Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday (19:45 GMT), before facing Manchester United in a derby in the Premier League on Sunday (16:30).

Aston Villa are back in Premier League action a week on Monday at Leicester City (20:00).


Aston Villa

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 25Nyland
  • 24Guilbert
  • 22Engels
  • 40MingsBooked at 90mins
  • 18Targett
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 11NakambaBooked at 72mins
  • 27El MohamadyBooked at 68minsSubstituted forTrézéguetat 70'minutes
  • 10Grealish
  • 21El GhaziSubstituted forHourihaneat 70'minutes
  • 20SamattaSubstituted forDavisat 80'minutes


  • 3Taylor
  • 8Lansbury
  • 14Hourihane
  • 15Konsa
  • 17Trézéguet
  • 29Reina
  • 39Davis

Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Bravo
  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 8GündoganSubstituted forDe Bruyneat 58'minutes
  • 16RodriBooked at 60mins
  • 47Foden
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 77'minutes
  • 7SterlingBooked at 57mins
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 84'minutes


  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 22Mendy
  • 26Mahrez
  • 30Otamendi
  • 31Ederson
Lee Mason

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamMan City
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Kyle Walker.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Rodrigo (Manchester City).

  5. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Booking

    Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Phil Foden (Manchester City).

  11. Post update

    Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Björn Engels (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Bernardo Silva tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

  16. Post update

    Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Frederic Guilbert (Aston Villa).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Gabriel Jesus replaces Sergio Agüero.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Matt Targett.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kyle Walker (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko.


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